Position Description

Technical Cleaner (Hanford, WA)
Job Category Fulltime Regular
ExemptOvertimeEligible Overtime Eligible
Benefits Eligible Benefit Based
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Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

Job Summary

LIGO Laboratory (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) seeks a highly motivated and skilled Technical Cleaner to  join its team. LIGO Laboratory is a National Science Foundation major facility dedicated to observing the newly discovered gravitational-wave universe. Jointly operated by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the LIGO Laboratory operates world-leading observatories near Richland, WA and Baton Rouge, LA as well as R&D centers on the Caltech and MIT campuses. The LIGO Laboratory’s mission spans a broad and vibrant array of activities related to gravitational-wave physics and astronomy, including detector operations, R&D toward detector improvements, gravitational-wave astrophysics, observatory operations, and education and public outreach.

For more information, please visit the Laboratory website at http: \\www.ligo.caltech.edu  .

This position is located in Richland, WA.

Life at LIGO Hanford Observatory as a Caltech Employee
LIGO’s observatory in the shrub-steppe of Eastern Washington is an approximately 20-minute commute from Richland, WA., where it is located on the edge of the Department of Energy Hanford Site.  Caltech employs a staff of 49 at the Hanford observatory. Caltech has an extraordinary science impact across many fields. Its small size creates a community where innovation and collaboration are the norm. Caltech manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA, the leading US center for the robotic exploration of the Solar System. Caltech also operates large-scale research facilities such as the Palomar and Keck Observatories.

The Tri-Cities (Richland, Kennewick, Pasco) is a rapidly developing community set in the heart of wine-country in southeast Washington state, where the Columbia, Yakima, and Snake rivers meet. The rivers and nearby Cascade and Blue mountain ranges provide ample outdoor recreation opportunities from water-skiing to fishing to hiking. The region is known for its contributions to science and technology in the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the DOE Hanford Site.

People choose to work at LIGO for many reasons, often with fulfilling, long-term careers. LIGO is a family-friendly laboratory and strives to ensure everyone is able to achieve the work-life balance they desire. Employees have access to a wide range of benefits including a child-care assistance program. Caltech’s benefits program offers a quality, competitive benefits package that is affordable for you and the Institute. The program provides a strong base of coverage for you and your dependents, and the ability to choose the plan and the level of coverage that best meet your needs. We also offer a 403(b) defined contribution plan to eligible staff as well as a Voluntary Retirement Savings (TDA) Plan. 

Caltech HR diversity page:  https://hr.caltech.edu/careers/2commitment-diversity

Caltech and LIGO Laboratory’s goal is to build a world-class, diverse workforce and support an inclusive environment that encourages professional development and offers top-notch benefits. Our talented staff, who work at the Caltech campus, or one of our Observatories, come from a variety of fields. Positions include scientists, engineers, information technology staff, outreach professionals, managers, writers, business professionals, and administrative staff. We are deeply committed to encouraging people of all backgrounds to apply for these opportunities. Our experience has demonstrated that the broader the styles, characteristics, backgrounds, and abilities of our staff—in other words, the more diverse our team is—the greater potential we have for success. Caltech is an equal opportunity employer.

LIGO Laboratory is committed to being a welcoming place for everyone regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status.

The successful candidate will be a member of the Facilities Group. This position will be a part of the maintenance staff and report to the Facilities Team Lead. The maintenance staff is responsible for all of the day to day maintenance and repair of the entire Observatory and support buildings. The successful candidate will work under general supervision and will be required to use a variety of tools and techniques to perform facilities maintenance services. The Technical Cleaner will work with the Facilities Group to properly maintain the LIGO buildings and site and ensure that they are in proper working order and safe.

Job Duties

  • Applies basic skills in maintaining cleanroom conditions and selects from standard procedures, techniques, tools, materials, and equipment appropriate to accomplish tasks. Responsible for cleanroom standards in the Electronics Lab, Mechanical Lab, Vacuum Lab, and Vacuum Equipment Areas. This requires special care to assure the safety of highly technical equipment. In particular, the candidate must be extremely careful working around optics tables, electronic test equipment, electronic control equipment, and computing equipment.
  • Will be required to use standard techniques and tools to perform routine support functions. 
  • Professionally interact daily with functional peer groups and supervisors.
  • Maintain several cleanrooms around the site and several Class 100 cleanroom areas. This requires working in cleanroom conditions, wearing a mask, garb, and possible laser safety glasses. 
  • Responsible for operating a mobile lift and scissor lift as required to access and clean some components of the cleanrooms and cleanroom areas. 
  • Provide cleanroom support during vacuum chamber entries 
  • Will be required to collect, handle, and properly dispose of contaminated and sometimes flammable trash.
  • Responsible for collecting dirty garb at all site garbing areas and keep these areas stocked with clean garb. 
  • Responsible for sorting and making ready for shipping, dirty garb to be sent to the cleaners 
  • Responsible for vacuuming and mopping floors, hallways, and offices. Clean and maintain the kitchens and restrooms. Replenish supplies as needed. Replace incandescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes in buildings as necessary.
  • Under the direction of the Facilities Team Lead, will be required to fill in for shipping and receiving personnel when needed to help with the receiving, logging, sorting, and distributing received packages .
  • Will be needed to escort contractors around the site as they perform contractual duties like fire system testing or pest control measures for facilities.
  • Responsible for working in a team environment and being able to communicate with people who have a broad spectrum of backgrounds, skills, and educational preparation.
  • Additional tasks as required 
  • Responsible for applying basic knowledge of policies and practices to assignments

Basic Qualifications

  • The candidate must have a minimum of a High School Diploma or equivalent experience
  • Must have at least 1 year of related work experience in facilities cleaning
  • Proficiency with communication skills, written and verbal, and be able to communicate with people who have a broad range of backgrounds and skills 
  • Must have a valid driver's license at the time of employment and be able to maintain it throughout the course of employment 
  • Must have the ability to lift 20 or more pounds of office supplies and equipment 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Working knowledge of cleanroom and contamination control procedures
  • Working knowledge with standard office computing applications (e.g. Outlook and web applications)
  • General knowledge in planning and scheduling work tasks

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter


EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

To read more Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.

Disability Accommodations

If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to Caltech Recruiting at employment@caltech.edu

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